Hiring Process

Successful Hiring Depends on a Disciplined Process

Debra Thompson

One of the greatest challenges you will face in the coming year will be your ability to attract top performers. Not only is the unemployment at an all-time low, but as companies broaden their offerings or join with other firms to create full-service printing/mailing/fulfillment/marketing/signage initiatives, the industry needs workers skilled in computer programming, list management, social media, marketing, graphic design (for print and Internet), mailing, and more. To find that kind of talent, you are no longer just competing for the best skills and experience within your own industry, but you are competing with other industries as well.

As the battle for talent intensifies, employee recruitment and selection has never been more critical.  You cannot afford to fall into the “warm body is better than nobody” fallacy. When it comes to costly workplace mistakes, few carry as hefty a price tag as making a bad hire. It doesn’t matter if you are hiring an entry level minimum wage employee or a manager, the cost of a bad hire is significant and can bring down a team, or an entire organization.

For these and a myriad of other reasons, the dynamics of staffing has changed. You will need to revolutionize your staffing practices if you plan to be a successful business going forward. Just as in every other aspect of your business, you must put a process in place that will guarantee success in all of your staffing endeavors. It is important to recognize that hiring is a difficult and daunting task for anyone. Therefore, it is vital that the person doing the hiring follow the process stop-by-step and do it right or pay costly consequences. Often, the discipline needed to follow the process overwhelms hiring managers and they take shortcuts and skip steps. When that happens, invariably the business will experience the costs of a poor or bad hire.

The cost of a bad hire has many facets:

  • Average cost can equal 30% of individual’s first year potential earnings (US Dept. of Labor & Statistics)
  • One bad hire costs an average of $17,000 (CareerBuilder)
  • 30% of all business failures result from poor hiring techniques
    • 32% of executive leaders said it creates poor morale (SHRM)
    • 39% suffer lower productivity (SHRM)
    • 18% can damage client relations resulting in lost business
  • Don’t forget the added cost of having to start the process all over

In addition to these financial implications, there is also the significant energy drain and emotional toll of dealing with a bad hire. Hiring a bad behavioral fit or someone who lacks the skill needed to perform the job has the potential to leave good employees with the burden of damage control, whether it be extra work or redoing work that wasn’t completed correctly the first time. The added pressure on top performers could have a negative impact on employee retention.

The three fundamental personnel responsibilities of a manager are:

  1. Hiring top performing employees
  2. Developing them into top performers
  3. Retaining the top performers

And let’s face it – if you don’t get number one right, the rest become almost impossible. Therefore, you must have a process to follow.

“We need to take emotion and gut feeling out of the hiring process and do the proper due diligence to find the best candidate.” – Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric

Landing a good hire is hard work. Basing a decision solely on someone who interviews well or “feels like a good fit” can lead to not doing enough research into the candidate’s skills, experience and references. Each step in the hiring process is so critical that IDEAlliance now offers HirePro which devotes a lesson to each of the steps. HirePro not only gives you an understanding of the details, but also provides ideas, suggestions, forms and tools to successfully complete each step.

HirePro fully defines the Steps to Creating Grade AA Talent:

  1. Define the Job – Understand the importance of an accurate Job Description
  2. Define the Person – Follow a formula to quickly and easily determine the behavioral requirements of a job role
  3. Recruit – Craft your ad and identify successful methods of recruiting
  4. Prescreen – Quickly weed out inappropriate applicants, Anti-discrimination guidelines included
  5. Employment Application – Understand the legalities and importance of this form
  6. Testing –Skills, personality, cognitive intelligence, emotional intelligence
  7. Structured Interview – Conduct it properly and legally
  8. Reference Check – Why and how to conduct proper and revealing reference investigating
  9. Hiring Decision – A system in place for an objective assessment
  10. Make Offer – Know all the components of the offer
  11. Final Checks – Background, drug, medical, I-9. Ensure you have the best hire and have protected the organization.

Debra Thompson is President of TG & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in “The Human Side of Business™” specifically for the Graphic Industry. She has partnered with IDEAlliance to produce HirePro for IDEAlliance. This online training course is for Members and Non-members of Idealliance. Click here for more information about this course. Or, you can reach Debra or at 520-751-8922 or debra@tgassociates.com.

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